Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dancing Baby

In answer to my question last week, they do happen in threes. On Friday, my parents’ next-door neighbor, a man they’ve lived next to for 25 years, died from cancer. Being a very private man, we didn’t even know that he was sick. Another shocking death.

But let’s move on to some good news. I had my second checkup yesterday with the OB/GYN. Apparently, I’m in great health; everything is progressing great. Also, we had another ultrasound, and we were able to see the baby more distinctly this time. In fact, the baby actually seemed to be dancing! The baby was bouncing up and down and moving the arms in front of the little face, almost like a boxing stance. So amazingly cute!

Though we saw the baby’s heartbeat on our first visit, we have to wait another month before we get to hear the heartbeat, and it’ll be another two months before we get to learn the sex of the baby. It’s going to be so hard to wait.

Chris and I went to Target a couple nights ago and looked at all the baby stuff. I got so excited looking at the baby beds, strollers, high chairs, little baby baths, and all the other stuff. I started to get emotional and had to move on to the entertainment section in order to calm down!

I’ve been reading books and magazines and online articles about the pregnancy, delivery, and the first twelve months after the baby is born. However, I have a feeling that nothing will really be able to prepare me for what’s ahead. I’m a planner, so hopefully I’ll be at least as prepared as I can be. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Do They Really Happen in Threes?

Last week, The Reeds had a sweet friend pass away, and this week it was one on the Bratcher side. I’ve often heard that these things happen in threes, and I’ve often known that to be true. My guess is that it’s just coincidence. However, it’s hard not to have a sense of anticipation. Is it just bad things that happen in threes, or is it big things? In my community group, we have two pregnancies and another family moving to a new house. That’s three big things. On a side note, the other girl that is pregnant is due two days after me!

Last night, Chris and I were supposed to go to community group. However, he was busily helping his family clean out their friend’s apartment, and I was in no condition to be good company for anyone. We had both been looking forward to going, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Anyway, I could not the phone number of our community group leader, so I jumped in the car to go over there and tell them why we couldn’t be there. I know that sounds crazy, but they thought we were coming. I didn’t want them to worry or think that we were being rude. So, I told them about Chris’s helping out his family and my pregnancy, had them right down their number for me, and fifteen minutes later was on my way back home.

We’ve been trying ot keep a running tally of foods that I just can’t consume at this point. I feel very limited right now. I have a lot of saltines, water, and Sprite. Generally, I’m a really picky eater, but it just seems ridiculous at this point. And I really feel bad for Chris; I just can’t cook for him right now like I used to. However, I think he’s surviving just fine. On Wednesdays, it’s Pappa John’s pizza day at school, and at the end of the day they sell the leftover large pizzas for $5. If you get there early enough, you get some delicious rice crispy treats thrown into the deal. That’s what I brought home for Chris last night, and he seemed pleased.

For the last couple days, I’ve been feeling pretty terrible. Having a migraine for two days in a row, along with the “side effects” of early pregnancy, has not made for very pleasant teaching experiences. I just had to keep reminding myself that time was passing, and my bed would happily welcome me when I arrived home.

Speaking of a welcoming bed, I think it’s calling to me now….

Friday, January 19, 2007


I really wish that I had the energy to write more during the week. However, as it is, I can just barely make it home at the end of the day, walk Bella, and crash on the couch; and next week I’ll start up with tutoring again in the afternoons. While I’m sitting on the couch, I think about opening the laptop, doing laundry, or being productive in some way, and just thinking about it makes me more tired. I actually fell asleep at eight o’clock last night! That seems so crazy. Hopefully, I’ll have enough time and energy to get a few things accomplished this weekend. I have a small mountain of grading I brought home with me. The promise of good feelings and more energy in the 2nd trimester keeps me looking ahead.

On Tuesday, I had a frustrating thing happen at work. Somehow during third block, I was one copy short for the quiz I was giving, even though I made exact copies. It’s not hard to make exactly 40 copies. Anyway, I went to make an extra copy. Interestingly enough, I absent-mindedly made a copy of the key and gave it to the student who promptly returned it to me! So I went again to make a copy. Can you believe it? I copied the wrong quiz! The third time did turn out to be a charm, and he was finally able to get busy working on the quiz.

I just found about maternity leave and insurance for the baby. First, I will use all of my sick days that I have accrued over the last few years. You can accrue up to 30, but I know I only have 27. After that, I only get six weeks of actual maternity leave. This will put me back at work in late October. I can take 12 weeks, but the last six weeks would be unpaid. For insurance, I have 30 days, absolutely no more, to add the baby to my insurance, and it will be almost $400 a month! I need to check with Chris's insurance to see how much it'll cost to add the baby to his. We really need to win the lottery; we'll buy a ticket next week!

With all the changes ahead and house hunting and dealing with issues at work that I’m not allowed to discuss, it really could be enough to make me overly concerned, but I’m not going to let it get to me. It’s true that we need a better place to live, and, sure, I would love to be out longer with my baby. Who knows? Maybe somehow I will be able to. However, I’ve decided that I will put my trust in God. He will take care of me, Chris, the baby, our finances, and every other aspect of our lives. I’ve been hearing negative comments from so many sources lately about what could happen or what we should have done or should do or whatever. We can’t do anything about any of that. No matter what circumstances or “what ifs” people can drum up, that doesn’t change God’s plans for our lives or His provision or His promises. “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Well, I guess Chris and I are just exercising our faith, and I can tell that we’re stronger already.

And now, so I can continue to be strong for this little miracle within, it’s time to rest!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

100 Things About Me

I borrowed this idea from my sister-in-law who borrowed it from her sister. It’s actually a challenge to think of things that I think might actually be interesting to others. I thought for a long time about it, so I hope you enjoy. Here we go….

1.I am pregnant with my first child.
2.When my mom was pregnant with me, she craved crushed ice and Three Musketeers candy bars.
3.I am a Christian.
4.I have the bad habit of popping my fingers and often don’t even realize that I’m doing it.
5.I’ve never been in a limousine.
6.I’m only been snow skiing once, and it was the worst trip of my life.
7.I don’t like seafood.
8.I often cover my mouth when I laugh.
9.I sometimes wore a fake nose ring during college, and I really liked it.
10. It took me five years to graduate from college.
11. I lived in the projects when I was a little girl.
12. I’m in my 10th year of teaching 7th grade English.
13. I teach in a Christian school.
14. I took six years of French but remember very little.
15. I have lived in the South my entire life.
16. I’ve been to Ireland, France, Mexico (twice), and the Bahamas.
17. Five of those trips were mission trips, and I also went on one to New York.
18. I am a middle child.
19. I enjoy cooking and cleaning but have been able to do very little of that as of late due to early pregnancy issues.
20. I love swimming.
21. I kept my maiden name as a second middle name.
22. I fancy myself to be a writer and desperately want to have a book published some day.
23. People who are very close to me often call me Kay-Kay, and despite a lapse in my fondness for it during adolescence, I love it.
24. I like talking on the phone.
25. I love holidays or any chance to be festive.
26. I don’t like doughnuts.
27. Before meeting my husband, I was never in a romantic relationship that last more than three months.
28. However, I never had anyone break up with me.
29. I would love to own a theater some day and produce/direct plays.
30. I am left-handed, but I throw right-handed.
31. I really hope to go on a cruise someday.
32. And I want to go to Hawaii. Maybe I’ll go on a cruise to Hawaii.
33. My favorite poet is Robert Frost.
34. My favorite painter is Vincent Van Gogh.
35. I love reading novels.
36. I never had the chicken pox as a child and neither did my brother or sister.
37. We also never wore braces.
38. I’ve never broken a bone.
39. I sprained my arm when I fell of a slide when I was four or five.
40. I badly bruised my sternum during a car wreck, which was not my fault, in January 2005
41. I once had hypothermia in the 7th grade.
42. I wanted to be an actress until I was about 25.
43. I would still love to be in a Spielberg movie.
44. I didn’t get married until I was 31.
45. On Sunday nights, I love watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. In my opinion, it’s the best show on TV right now.
46. I also enjoy Gilmore Girls.
47. My husband and I are house hunting.
48. Among my plethora of costumes, I own three Renaissance dresses, a ‘20’s flapper dress, and a Beast costume.
49. I love butterflies
50. … and bunnies
51. … and snow people.
52. My favorite dessert is Mrs. Smith’s Dutch apple crumb pie.
53. I almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning when I was seven.
54. I used to talk to myself a lot when I was home alone, but now I get to direct all of my random comments and queries towards my dog, Bella.
55. My best friend is my mom.
56. I own all 10 seasons of Friends and frequently watch them before I go to sleep at night.
57. I once, briefly, had pink hair.
58. I hate small talk.
59. I once stayed in a monastery in New Mexico for a week.
60. I’ve been on at least 30 summer camps and/or retreats.
61. I just started wearing reading glasses in the last year.
62. I don’t have any tattoos, but I do enjoy wearing fake ones from time to time.
63. My hair is naturally curly but was only slightly wavy until I became a teenager.
64. I’ve had eighteen different roommates, sixteen of those being during college.
65. I love reading People magazine.
66. I own about 300 movies on VHS and DVD.
67. I believe that anything in your home should be either beautiful or functional, and it’s even better if they are both.
68. I met my husband because of a candy cane.
69. I got lost at Huntsville Space Center when I was in fourth grade and was almost left behind.
70. I prefer silver or white gold jewelry over yellow gold.
71. I’m terrible at playing video games, but I like to watch other’s play.
72. I’ve been to about 30 Vigilantes of Love shows.
73. I often have a difficult time getting to sleep and/or staying asleep.
74. The first play I ever directed was during my senior year of college, and it was about drug addiction in the 50’s.
75. I love ice skating and roller skating.
76. I can spin around and skate backwards.
77. I love being tan.
78. I am very girly but can be pretty tough as well.
79. My parents are still together as are my husband’s, my sister’s husbands, and my brother’s wife’s. Cool, huh?
80. I love Southern sweet ice tea.
81. I am allergic, in some cases severely, to almost everything, except dogs.
82. I have one dog, a Great Pyranees/Lab mix named Bella.
83. I really want to get more dogs after we get a house.
84. I like my feet.
85. I have never fired a gun.
86. I once tried to climb behind a waterfall, slipped, and was knocked out.
87. It’s almost impossible for me to hide my emotions.
88. This means that I cannot lie.
89. I enjoy studying/teaching about the Civil War.
90. I can’t keep houseplants alive.
91. My favorite job in college was working in the school’s library.
92. Racist people infuriate me.
93. I enjoy spending time with my husband’s family.
94. I hate feeling like I’ve disappointed someone.
95. I love my job.
96. I greatly enjoy going for walks and drives with my husband.
97. I sound exactly like my sister on the phone.
98. I miss my toe rings, but I don’t want to put them back on until after I have my baby.
99. My husband is one of the greatest blessings in my life.
100.Other than God, family is the important thing to me.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Do you hear what I hear?

Well, it’s not my voice. I lost it somewhere between school, the pharmacy, and home. I didn’t even realize that it was gone until Chris called me from work to let me know he’d be a little late. When I answered the phone, we both found that I had become a squeaky mouse. I picked up some Robitussen at the pharmacy hoping to alleviate some of the sinus problems I’ve been having. I didn’t fall asleep until around 2 this morning, ended up moving to the couch to keep from disturbing Chris with all my tossing and turning, finally fell into a fitful sleep, and woke up feeling like a couple dozen elves beat me up during the night. Still, I was able to make it through my day with the students; however, I began to notice towards the end of the day that there seemed to be a slow leak with my energy.

I was going to come home, take a little medicine, and hop on the treadmill. That did not happen. By the time I had finished taking care of Bella, about 90% of my energy had fled. So, I set up camp on the couch with my big faux fur blanket and my box of Toy Story Kleenexes. After talking with Chris, I tried calling Mom. That was a short conversation, lots of squeaking on my part and advice from Mom to stop talking and rest. I fixed myself some tea and resumed my campout on the couch.

Oh, one of the most intriguing shows I’ve been watching lately is Without a Trace. Have you seen it? It’s all about missing people and the FBI agents who work hard to find them. It stars Anthony Lapaglia. Have you seen him in Betsey’s Wedding? It’s an old movie with Alan Alda and Molly Ringwold. What a great movie! I love his character, my favorite gangster of all time!

I must feel better by tomorrow. There’s just one more day left in this work week; I have to make it. I just can’t think of taking a sick day right now. I’m sure that by morning my voice will return, and I’ll be just fine. The only problem is that I have to work the ticket table at the middle school basketball games until 6:30 tomorrow night. After getting to school at 7 AM, that will make for a very long day. But I will be retiring soon with prayers whispered heavenward for a quick recovery and a couple extra measures of energy to fuel me for my Friday.

I hope your Friday finds you well and happy. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Winter Dreams

“Back to life. Back to reality.”

Is it sad that on my first day back to work after Christmas break, the words that define my life are from an old song by En Vogue? How did those lyrics even find their way into my head? Is this the result of a life full of pop culture overload? I do have to defend myself just a bit by saying that I did have to look up the song and artist; I couldn’t remember the origin of the lyrics.

After have a fortnight off of work, even with the busyness of the holiday season, it’s somewhat strange to get into the back into the swing of things. Of course, a day of meetings isn’t quite the same as being with a room full of seventh graders; I believe that I have mentioned I much preferred the room full of students. During one meeting today, I actually started to do the sleepy head nod. I had to get a piece of ice out of my water jug to rub on my wrists and hands to wake me up. I was sufficiently revived and able to gain a few inspirational tidbits from the rest of the meeting.

Tomorrow the kids return, and it’s a whole new ballgame. In the spring semester, seventh graders start to feel a little closer to eighth grade and a few more sassy attitudes materialize. Many of them have growth spurts, and what fit them in September is now much too short. It’s an exciting time, and I am very much looking forward to getting back to them. They certainly make life more interesting.

It’s January, the time that all school children and teachers start dreaming of snow.

“Snow” from the movie White Christmas

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow

Where it's snowing
All winter through
That's where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That's what I'll do
How I'm longing to ski
Through the snow-oh-oh-oh-oh

Those glist'ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow
No white Christmas with no snow

I'll soon be there with snow
I'll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I'll build a man that's made of snow
I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow

I must have heard the word a dozen times today, all from teachers speaking wistfully of early morning snow chain calls and days off. I wonder if we really have a chance this year. Every year I anxiously anticipate the arrival of snow; I cannot help but get my hopes up. Many years have found my dreams to be sadly unfulfilled, but I still manage to muster up a sufficient amount of optimism each year and watch the skies with expectation. Maybe this year, I, and countless other school bound citizens, will get our wish.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Last night Chris and I went over to my parents’ house for dinner, company, and to ring in the new year. When we arrived we heard the “celebrating” that had already started in the projects across the street; I do believe that there were more guns going off more frequently this year than ever before. Not long after we arrived, we heard several sirens from emergency vehicles heading in the direction of the shots. Really, it’s the same every year.

For our part, we celebrated by making Tombstone pizzas, snacking on tortilla chips and salsa, and watching Cars on DVD. I ended up falling asleep, and only woke up when Mom called my name, told me it was two minutes until midnight, and handed me a glass of sparkling red grape juice. We flipped the TV to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, watched the ball drop, clinked our glasses, and shared a kiss. Afterwards, we finished the movie, and then Chris and I headed home.

In a few minutes, Chris and I will get ready and head to see a movie before coming back here to take down the tree and give our apartment a clean start for the new year.

I pray you all have a happy and healthy year ahead.